(OAK LAWN) An 81-year-old man who went through a red light and barreled into nearly a dozen cars in October in Oak Lawn — killing two nuns and himself — had a blood-alcohol level more than two times the legal limit, police said Monday.
Sisters Jean Stickney, 86, and Kab Kyoung Kim, 48, both of the Little Company of Mary Sisters, had been driving eastbound on 95th Street and were in the front of a lane of cars stopped at a red light at Cicero Avenue on Oct. 5, when a pickup truck heading westbound hit their vehicle head-on at 4:27 p.m., police said. Both died at the scene.
The driver of the Ford F-150, Edward L. Carthans, of the 11000 block of South Morgan, also died in the crash, authorities said.
Toxicology results from the medical examiner’s office revealed Carthans had a 0.179 blood-alcohol content — more than two times the legal driving limit of 0.08, according to a statement from the Oak Lawn Police Department.
Eleven cars were involved in the crash. Twenty-three people were treated at the scene, and 11 were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, Little Company of Mary Hospital and Palos Community Hospital, officials said at the time. Two were in critical condition.
Shortly before the crash at Cicero, a male motorist found Carthans slumped over the wheel of his truck at 95th and Western Avenue, Oak Lawn Police Division Chief Randy Palmer said at the time.
Carthans assured the man that he was OK and drove away, police said. Moments later, his truck struck three vehicles at 95th and Keeler Avenue.
None of the drivers in that crash was seriously injured, Palmer said. Carthans then ran the red light at Cicero and caused the fatal accident, Palmer said.
Oak Lawn village manager Larry Deetjen said that after the man ran the red light at Cicero, he veered into the turning lane of eastbound 95th and “the truck flipped in the air and struck more vehicles.”
Rick Gile, the area manager of the Mattress Firm, on the corner of the intersection, told the Southtown Star that he saw the pickup truck come “flying westbound. The east-west traffic was stopped. He somehow got through the north-south traffic. All the cars were parked at the traffic light and he plowed into them. The pickup truck ‘ramped’ up a minivan and nose-dived into the rest of the cars.”
Janae Mitchell and Pat Davis, both of Chicago’s Washington Heights neighborhood, said they were eastbound on 95th Street after seeing a movie in Chicago Ridge.
“We saw the truck flip in the air. It was horrible,” Mitchell said. “This is like something you see in a movie.”